Blue Mountain Odyssey 4-6-2 425 in Action DVD
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2020-07-13 07:48:31.
People who found this review helpful: 5
In this 1986/1987 videotape/2004 DVD that was originally released as volume 7 of the railfan video classics line, the program starts with a look at the original blue mountain & reading logo while 425 whistles at mainline speed carrying 5 coaches which were originally built for commuter service on the Erie Lackawanna. Afterwards, 425 goes into reverse mode while running around the coaches. Later on the first day of August 1986, 425 heads for port jervis ny from Hoboken. The action begins with 425 heading for the crossings at Fleetwood Pennsylvania on the former reading mainline which is later owned by conrail & later Norfolk southern. Note the covered hoppers as 425 whistles through while there is a gondola between the locomotive's water tender & the coaches. Moments later, 425 whistles through topton. Meanwhile, a look at the map of the Tri-state area for the day long route is shown. In Allentown, a pair of Morristown & Erie Alco C424 units 18 & 17 (originally 424 & 430) coupled to the front of the former gulf mobile & northern Pacific while heading to Netcom NJ on the Delaware Lackawanna & western Washington branch. Between Easton & the new jersey state line of Phillipsburg, the special crosses the Jersey central bridge. An overnight stop would be made at Morristown. The bridge in the foreground is the conrail line to Allentown. Prior to the 425 trip, the special was originally planned to send 765 from fort Wayne Indiana. Unfortunately it was cancelled due to the insurance crisis. However about 2 years later in 1988, 765 did pay a visit to New Jersey for that year's NRHS convention. Some kids are shown as they want to see a train for the first time as the alcos create a smoke & horn show on the Washington branch, as well as 425 whistling at the same time. As night falls, the rain is downpouring as the special arrives at Netcom. Once stopped safety poles are used to measure the clearance of 425 under the electric wires. Once the signal is yellow, both the diesels & 425 whistled off for the really wet night. For the Saturday August 2, & Sunday August 3 trips in 1986, 425 will handle passenger specials from Hoboken near the New York city skyline as evidenced by the long gone but not forgotten twin towers in the background, to port jervis & return. The new jersey transit station at Hoboken was originally built for the Lackawanna. Due to the huge amount of coaches for the weekend long special, the same Morristown & Erie alco diesels will be used to help 425 on steep grades. The twin diesels are between the tool car for 425's maintenance parts & the coaches. With the signal set to yellow or green, it's all aboard time as 425 leaves Hoboken. In the 1980s & 1990s, some railfans thought that 425 looks almost similar to great western 90 from the Strasburg railroad due to the front headlamp on top of the boiler from far away. Not only were there scenes from the ground during the weekend long chase, there is some onboard footage from the coaches as well. A man coughs off screen as 425 makes a lot of noise while scaring the birds away at Ramsey. In the going away shot at the same location, the narrator of this program: the late railfan magazine editor Jim Boyd took some still images while using a tripod. Moments later, 425 whistles through tuxedo. Afterwards, 425 whistles through Harriman. In Campbell hall, a conrail diesel with a bay window caboose & a maintenance crane sits on a siding as 425 arrives at the depot. From here to port jervis, the Alcos handle the rest of the special while 425 is being cut off for service, & also due for turning on the wye. Once the January 1928 Baldwin built Pacific is turned, the air whistle on the tool car is activated as 425 backs into port jervis. During the Saturday special, the rain is still In a heavy downpour mode as 425 is being prepared for the return trip to Hoboken. With everyone back onboard, the excursion is shown at godeffroy where the Alcos could handle most of the work. Listen to the sounds of the evil skies as 425 whistles through the storm. Near washingtonville new York, 425 whistles over the moodna viaduct. Afterwards, the special is being paced alongside as throughout the segment, look carefully for the car mirror on the southwest corner of the screen. You can see the camera operator in the mirror while pacing 425. Almost halfway into the program near the 30 minute mark, 425 whistles at tuxedo, then it whistles under the overpass, & also at Ramsey.
Back in Hoboken, there is a festival going on at the depot. Music, food, games, & even inspecting the locomotives on display at the platforms. On September 26, 1986, a pair of Pennsylvania railroad E units with reading GP30 5513 heads for Hoboken. 425 is in the middle of the one way trip as it is between the gondola in front, & more coaches on the rear. As night falls, the Pennsy diesels active their horns on the Washington branch as rain falls from the sky in pakistown new jersey. Once at the Lackawanna depot near new York city, the diesels are on display while 425 makes a quartet of short trips from Hoboken to Rutherford. Our first scene shows the locomotive leaving Hoboken with a nice whistle show. While there is nowhere to turn the steam special around at Rutherford, a GP7 follows the locomotive behind while making a meet with a regular electric NJT commuter train as it arrives inbound. Moments later, 425 crosses over the bascule bridge at Harmon cove. Afterwards, it goes under the route 3 overpass. As the late afternoon sun beams from the sky, 425 arrives at Rutherford. Once there, the GP7 number 5905 tows the special back to the big city. 425 whistles as it crosses the bascule bridge in Harmon cove once again. Another regular electric inbound commuter train arrives as 425 whistles for the arrival at Hoboken. Once the 4 short trips are finished, 425 joins 5513 & the Pennsylvania E units on display at the depot. Also at the depot, there is the NJT f unit, a Pennsylvania GG1, NJT AEM-7 Number 958, & even some regular commuter trains. The children wanted to get a photograph of 425 with the engineer & a circus clown. The since been gone but not forgotten twin towers of New York city are shown as the camera zooms out to a railway crane on Sunday September 28 1986. On that day, 425 & the diesels that came with the Pacific heads home to reading. The passengers who booked the one way excursion, can go as far as Dover while taking the regular commuter train back to the new York city area. Our first scene shows the Pennsylvania E units making a horn show at Montclair heights. The twins are carrying 5513, a gondola, & the tool car. 425 follows behind. Moments later, the diesels negotiate a bend while 425 whistles at the same location. Afterwards, a map from Hoboken to netcong is shown as 425 whistles for the arrival at Dover. Everybody who lives in this town as well as neighboring areas wanted to get a great close up look as 425 whistles for the crossing as it heads home to reading. West of dover, 425 rejoins the diesels as it heads home while approaching the abandoned station in lake hopatcong. At netcong, the special must wait for the conrail crew to take them to Allentown. With everyone onboard, the diesels & 425 create a horn & whistle show as they pass the depot in milepost 48.
The final event for 425 in 1986 was at the BM&R's railfan weekend on Columbus day weekend (October 11, & 12). First The engine runs the train tender first at temple, while there is a cab ride to Hamburg. Many years after this footage was filmed, there were no trains on the temple to Hamburg line despite the rails are still intact. Today the Hamburg station next to the state route 61 overpass is now known as the reading railroad heritage museum. Arriving at Hamburg, 425 goes under the route 61 overpass, takes on water (this scene was later shown in Susquehanna steam express from 1992), & ran around the coaches for the return trip to temple. To end this program, more cab scenes of 425 are shown as well as some quick trackside angles.
Since the 1990s, the locomotive was repainted blue, & in 2007 or 2008, the front parts of the engine are overhauled which includes moving the front headlamp to the front door of the smokebox, as well as converting the bell from the mechanical type, to an old fashioned swinging type on a string above the smokebox.
All in all, Jim Boyd does a decent job narrating this program.
Additional remarks by Steamboy:
Narration: Could have used more.
Would kids enjoy this? Yes.
Image quality: Good.
DVD Value: Excellent Value!
Recommend to others? Definitely.